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Does 'bio' on cosmetics really mean natural cosmetics?

Many cosmetics manufacturers want to convince consumers with various 'creative' solutions that their products are natural. But the words 'bio', 'natur', 'herbal' or 'without' do not mean that this is true.

Consumers are increasingly resorting to natural so it is not surprising that natural cosmetics are also increasingly popular, for which we are willing to pay more. However, the Consumer Association of Slovenia (ZPS) warns that there are no regulations that would uniformly regulate the field of labeling of natural cosmetics, so there are also no clear conditions that determine what the composition of cosmetic products should be, how they should be made and even what kind of packaging they need to be labeled as 'natural' or 'organic' by manufacturers.

Different certificates may be helpful to consumers when purchasing natural cosmetics, but it should be made clear that this is not always easy, as there are only 30 more or less reliable certificates in the European market.

“Some certificates are very widespread, but not the most 'strict'. For example, a certificate may specify that raw materials from organic production (controlled organic production) or bio-controlled wildlife must be used, producers must provide traceability, but it is not specified what kind the proportion of these raw materials must be of controlled benefit At the same time, we also have certificates that state among the requirements that 95 percent of ingredients from organic production must be certified, above certified producers and regular (annual) controls are carried out, etc., “ explained Urša Šmid Božičevič from the Slovenian Consumers Association and added : “Despite the differences in requirements, it is common ground that the use of ingredients such as synthetic preservatives, mineral oils and silicones, polyethylene glycols (PEGs), synthetic dyes and fragrances and genetically modified organisms is prohibited by the majority of certificates . “

But manufacturers do not choose the means to convince consumers that their product is the best and most natural. Because there are no clear rules in the field of natural and organic cosmetics, there is a lot of room for different 'creative' solutions.

Cosmetics PHOTO: Shutterstock

Examples of such 'creative' solutions are provided at ZPS:

'Bio' on behalf of the product : The term 'bio' is not prohibited, although the product does not have any of the certificates attaching to organic cosmetics.

– With green packaging color, flower images and leaves of auspicious plants or fruits and with the terms 'herbal' or 'natur' on behalf of manufacturers suggest that the product contains ingredients of natural origin.

– Large captions 'without' : For example, if the product is 'silicone-free' or 'paraben-free', it does not mean that it is natural.

'Natural water' : More water, more natural? According to the ISO standard, manufacturers can mark the added water contained in most cosmetic products (found in the INCI list as Aqua and most often) as a natural ingredient. Thus, the ZPS on a product containing 63 percent of water read the claim of a particularly imaginative manufacturer that “97 percentages of ingredients of natural origin. “

And when is a cosmetic preparation definitely not natural?

When is a cosmetic product definitely not natural? PHOTO: Slovenian Consumers Association

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